Community opposed to chlorination

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The Hawea community recognises that it has a fight on its hands if it wants its water supply to be free of chlorine.

Hawea Community Association chairman Paul Cunningham said the community was “totally opposed” to chlorination of its water supply.

“We don’t feel the council [Queenstown Lakes District Council] has explored all avenues,” he said.

Until temporary chlorination was put in place, the water quality had been “brilliant”, he said.

A recent petition to the council against chlorination had several hundred signatures.

The proposal to chlorinate the water had come about as a result of the gastric outbreak in Havelock North, he said.

The council “was between a rock and a hard place” as it could be legally liable if there was an outbreak in Hawea, he acknowledged.

Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult reassured a district plan consultation meeting this month that the council was listening to their concerns and no decision had been made on permanent chlorination.

Councillors and council staff were tasked with making drinking water safe for all residents in the Queenstown Lakes district and chlorination was one way to do that, Mr Boult said.

“It’s clear people are very passionate about this issue and we take each submission on board and we take them very seriously.

“But there’s a lot of liability on the council and councillors if something goes wrong in those water supplies,” he said.